Oh yes I did.


My Heart Is All Aflutter

Apparently David did not get the memo that we were finished with medical emergencies and drama. I thought I was clear. To his credit, though, it was pretty much out of his control. Yesterday at 3:00 he came over to where I was sitting and said, "I don't mean to alarm you" (famous last words) "but could you take my pulse and tell me if it feels irregular to you?" Here is the sequence of events that followed.
1. Take his pulse.
2. Notice a pretty funky irregular heartbeat.
3. Try not to freak out.
4. Ask him when he noticed it.
5. Tried not to yell at him when he told me he WOKE UP WITH IT!!!!
6. Commenced our conversation
David was wondering if he could just wait till Monday to deal with it--hoping it would go away on its own. I respectfully declined and off to the ER we went.

The good news when you have a heart issue and you go to the ER is that you bypass everyone in the waiting room and the doctor will see you immediately. They hooked David up to a heart monitor and we watched his heart rate jump between 68, 144, 98, 76, and 123 all in a matter of 10 seconds. I was scared. An EKG showed what we suspected, though, that he was in Atrial Fibrillation--where the top part of your heart is beating faster than the bottom part and they're out of sync. Bad? Yes. Common? Yes, thankfully. They tried to control the A-Fib with a medicine they injected into his I. V. line. The medicine stops your heart for a second or two, then your heart restarts, hopefully in its normal rhythm. I think David and I were trying to look calm while the nurse explained that. Unfortunately, the medicine did not help. So they had to sedate David and shock him with the crash cart paddles you see on TV. I left the room for that, because I did not want the image of my husband hovering three inches off the bed from an electrical shock seared into my memory for the rest of my life. That was the longest two minutes of my life, let me tell you. I had held it together pretty well until then... but that was rough. Thank God, though, that it worked. He came out of sedation and his heart was back to a normal rhythm.

He has a follow-up appointment with a cardiologist on Wednesday, and they'll determine the best course of treatment. Some people go into A-Fib once and never experience it again. Others require life long medication to keep them out of A-Fib. Obviously, we are hoping for the former scenario. The biggest question we have is why did it happen? Hopefully we will have more answers soon.

Keep David in your prayers, please. And if we could not go to the hospital anymore for a long, long time, I'd like that.



And I thought his quirkiness was because, at that time, he spoke no English and didn't know what in the world was going on. How very wrong I was.


Old Habits Die Hard
I thought we had conquered the B.O.B. in Zinabu's life (Bad Orphanage Behavior), but in the last week it has reared its ugly head on more than a few occasions. For example:

1. He fell yesterday. Hard. I mean really hard on his kneecap. He burst into tears and I rushed over to console him and he walked away, trying to hide his pain and not letting me touch him. This goes beyond wanting to be tough. It's more of a "I learned at age 3 that I had to take care of myself and I won't let anyone around to help me." It was so sad, as he couldn't really walk well... more like a staggered limp. I had to grab him and forcibly hold him, telling him over and over again that he needs to let me help him when he gets hurt. It's my job and it's okay for him to cry. He wasn't really happy about it.

2. He got royally mad at Carver and was in tears and incredibly frustrated. David and I were trying to talk to him and get to the bottom of the situation but again, he walked away from us and locked himself in the bathroom. He hates crying in front of ANYone, and he hates feeling weak or vulnerable.

So I'm back to some intense lovin' on the little dude, and I'm back to reminding him constantly that it really is okay to cry, show emotion, be vulnerable, allow others to help, and in general take advantage of the family that surrounds him. It's heart-breaking to watch him think he needs to be so tough and alone. Anyone else still struggling after several years at home with your kiddo?


Spring Break, Plan B

Fortunately, I am okay about not going to London. Alone. With David. All right, all right, I am mostly over it. But we needed a plan B. And we think we've settled on the perfect plan B.

We're headed to Texas! Yee haw!

I know it's not very spectacular, but we're rolling with it. Working with what we've got. Making lemonade out of lemons. And Texas just so happens to be lemonade-worthy. We did a little researching, and David and I agreed that we needed a get-away that would wear the kids out, be somewhat warm, and would provided some great rest and relaxation. Texas has the Gulf of Mexico and beaches and we can drive there. Perfect. Also, our spring break falls after their spring break, and it appears that we'll be there without any crowds or college partying. It's off season, and we found a house--ON THE BEACH--for the same price as a Holiday Inn. The house has no Wi-Fi, cable, or bedding. Perhaps that's why it's such a great deal. So we bring our own sheets and books to read. Whoopie! I can hardly wait. We'll also be an hour from the NASA Space Museum and the Houston Children's Museum. Extra whoopie!

The best part of all is that we have something to look forward to and we will be able to get away as a family. Not so shabby, if I do say so myself.


Valentine Party
Zinabu's second grade teacher opted to have the class Valentine party on Friday instead of tomorrow. I don't blame her. Those kids were so excited they could barely sit still. And with all the sugar in the classroom, it's no wonder she wanted to just send them all home for the weekend. The kids had a Valentine box competition, where they decorated their own boxes and displayed them. Totally unfair, as it was completely obvious which moms decorated boxes for their kids instead of letting the poor kids do it by themselves. Zinabu, the minimalist, drew red lines on glued a few hearts on his box. "Do you think I'll come in first place, Mom?" he asked. Ever the optimist.

Why does he still hate when I try to take his picture?

He's getting tired of me.

Waiting patiently for his teacher to say, "Go!" See his box? Plain and simple, yessiree.


Zinabu is still enthralled with American "holidays." All the hoopla and candy. It's like he can't believe his own good fortune to have landed on this planet.

Z's classroom. Controlled chaos.

My valentine.

And the sugar kicks in.


I have three posts for this blog written in my head, but they're somewhat lengthy and require photographs. Currently much of my time is spent helping Lily try to get acclimated back at school--whatever that might look like. So for your reading pleasure, visit the following:
Rachel. Phenomenal post on running.
Tesi. Great post on faith and grace.
Bridget. This is what it is like, after waiting for 3 years to adopt a child, to finally get your final clearance from the country of Ethiopia that yes, indeed, you can legally come get your son.

And just in case you need another... Carrie. Homemade cleaning supplies. She's almost too good to be true, that Carrie. She's amazing.


Book Review
So it's February again and it is Black History Month, which is good and bad. Good in the sense that we need it, but bad in the sense that it is swallowed up by all the other "month" observances we now pay homage to. For example, did you know that February is also American Heart Month, American History Month, National Bird Feeding Month, National Boost Your Self-Esteem Month, and National Canned Foods Month (to name a few)? Despite all that, February still belongs first and foremost to celebrating Black History, and there are a couple of books on our plate that I wanted to mention.

The first book is The Underground Railroad: An Interactive History Adventure by Allison Lassieur. I plan on reading this aloud with the kids at dinner over the next several days. Definitely for the older crowd (over age 6, for sure), but I love that it's interactive. You are reading from the perspective of a slave in the 1850s trying to escape, or a slave catcher hoping to get rich catching escaped slaves, or part of the Underground Railroad, helping slaves escape to freedom. While I'm not keen on the slave catcher's perspective, it does present an accurate character in the history of the Underground Railroad that you cannot gloss over. Everything in this book happened to real people, and my kids get to choose which side they're on and what to do next. We've had a lot of success reading biographies aloud together, and I hope the kids will get into the history lesson this book provides.

The next book, for me--not the kids, is How to be Black by Baratunde Thurston. I heard him interviewed recently on a radio program and he had me crying I was laughing so hard. He brilliantly writes about his experiences as a black male growing up in the Washington, D.C. area, and his interactions with everyone around him in his neighborhood, school, college, and beyond. His observations are witty yet spot-on, and if you've never understood the Oreo reference among African-Americans, you will one you've finished the book. I can't wait to get my hands on this.


Colorado was blasted by a snowstorm yesterday. And even though winter is my least favorite season, it was nice to have a blustery day where we could sit by the fire and watch the snow fall. Like most of the country, we've been enjoying weeks and weeks of 50 and 60 degree weather. Where we live, we only got about 5 inches. But the rest of the state, and even the neighborhoods in our city just north of us, received over 15 inches. So school was cancelled, David got a much needed day off, and my kids set the world record for most hours in their pajamas. Not too shabby.



Lily went to school today for one hour! We are encouraging a modified schedule, meaning slowly re-entering her into the school day, but she went. She did it! Being gone for so long has created some anxiety about going back, and she has some troubles with concentration, but she went for A WHOLE HOUR this morning and I hope to keep her on a steady, increasing schedule.

Yay Lily!